Human Growth and Development

Prenatal Development-Embryonic Period

Does the placenta continue to grow throughout a pregnancy?

The placenta grows rapidly until the fifth month of a pregnancy, at which time it is nearly fully developed. At the end of a pregnancy the placenta is about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) thick and 8 inches (20.5 centimeters) in diameter. It weighs approximately 1 pound (0.45 kilograms).


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